• Embedding Anti-Corruption in the MBA Curriculum: Reflections on a Case History Analysis of Affinity Fraud

      Manning, Paul; University of Chester (Emerald, 2018-02-05)
      Purpose – This paper aims to report a case history delivered to MBA students that developed their understanding of corruption and also enhanced their ability to be able to contribute to the anti-curriculum agenda. This case history method selected was innovative, as it was constructed from multidisciplinary archival sources. The case focus was the egregious affinity fraud of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities (BLMIS), with court documents taken from “United States V. Bernard L. Madoff And Related Cases USAO-SDNY”, including court sentencing records, victim impact statements and the defendant’s “Plea Allocution”. The case study aimed to enhance students’ ability and inclination to recognise and oppose corrupt practices. The longer-term ambition of the case was to contribute to developing the students’ moral awareness, character and facility for self-reflection, in terms of responding to corruption. The case study exercise also addressed rising societal expectations for more robust responses to corruption, in terms of illustrating how business school pedagogy can be expanded to emphasise the centrality of ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) to economic life. The case history was analysed within Carroll’s CSR pyramid and also with themes derived from the developing area of behavioural ethics, including a deontological, justice for its own sake and focus. Design/methodology/approach – This research used the qualitative case method (Stake, 2000; Yin, 2004, 2010, 2011) to investigate lived experience from the viewpoint of those being studied and to provide the case history “experience”, using an analytical lens developed from Carroll’s CSR pyramid (1991) and from behavioural ethics research. Furthermore, following Chell’s recommendation, the case history of theBLMIS fraud was chosen – “[. . .] for analytical purposes to produce insight into the phenomena in question” (2008). The case was constructed from archival sources, including court records of the sentencing of Bernie Madoff. Findings – The findings of the research are that students gained knowledge and understanding of the nature and practice of corruption, as well as developing their understanding of the anti-corruption agenda. The case also facilitated students to develop their moral awareness, character and facility for self-reflection with reference to corruption. In sum, the findings are that case histories, using archival sources, in this instance taken from the court records, have the potential to enhance teaching and learning in business ethics and responsible management education. Research limitations/implications – A limitation of this research is that it is reporting on one instance of a classroom delivery of the case study. In consequence, a recommendation for future research is for CSR and ethics focussed educationalist to conduct similar case study teaching to add to and complement the conclusions reached in this paper. Originality/value – This paper is original in detailing and reflecting on a case history teaching example of global corruption. This case history teaching method was innovative, as it was constructed from archival sources taken from court records to include victim impact statements and the defendant’s “Plea Allocution”.